Information before you go
Amed Bali is the place to escape the crowd. Unlike the beaches in the south chances are you will have the entire beach pretty much to yourself here.
Just like Lovina in the north, Amed is not just one village, but a string of smaller villages located on a 10-km long road in the Karangasem province. It starts with the village of Amed in the north followed by Congkang, Jemeluk, Bunutan, Lipah, Selang, Banyuning and ending with Aas.
Spectacular view of azure blue water and Mount Agung in the back
Most travelers stay in the 4 most eastern villages as there is more choice in accommodation, restaurants and dive operators. Aas is the less visited village of them all and between these villages there are several deserted beaches.
But more developments are taking place along this strip so perhaps soon enough it will get more crowded with visitors who have found out about this pretty secluded place.
Today Amed is mostly a quiet place with a stunning ocean view. Since this area, after Menjangan island is considered as one of the best places to go to for scuba diving in Bali, travelers mainly come here to marvel at the diverse sea life. Besides diving and snorkeling the main activity is just swimming in the calm sea and relaxing far away from the crowds in the south.
Perfect water for snorkeling and scuba diving Bali
Climate wise, this part of East Bali is not ideally located. It is situated on the dry side of the Mount Agung and Mount Seraya resulting in minimum rain throughout the year.
Every time we go to the Amed area, it is really dry and hot. It feels like the sun is setting the whole area on fire. The landscape is very arid and the slopes of the mountains all look bare.
Lush green rice fields are out of the question and the only crops that are grown in the wet season are peanuts, soybeans and corn. Other sources of income are salt winning and fishing, which is done all year round.
Especially around the villages of Amed and Congkang you can see the salt winning activities while the other beaches in the area are mostly covered with colorful Jukungs which are traditional fishing boats.
The more you drive towards Aas and beyond it is obvious that the area is one of the poorest in Bali and much effort is needed to obtain sufficient water in this dry environment. Local people have to walk down the hill daily to collect water for cooking, washing etc.
At various bays fisher men line up their boats
Amed is located at the eastern tip of Bali, about a 4 hour drive from the airport. To get there you need to use the main road from Amlapura and Culik. From here you can either go clockwise or anti clockwise around Seraya Mountain to Amed.
We prefer the clock wise option. Not only is this way into Amed quicker but its scenery really beautiful towards the end.
Beautiful rice field scenery along the 'clock wise route'
There is public transport to Amed area, however it is not that comfortable, plus it's pretty far, especially if you are coming from the Ubud area or Kuta beach.
It is far better to take one of the Perama charter buses that leave from main tourist villages. Candidasa is the closest village from which the Perama bus leaves from. So this is a good option if you can't arrange you own transport.
As mentioned earlier, not everything is actually located in Amed village. Your hotel or restaurant might be located a couple of bays ahead. So once in Amed area we think you should have your own transportation....
OK, if you plan to stay at a dive resort and the only thing you intend to do is scuba diving or follow a diving course then it might be fine to just stay at the resort most of the time.
If you want to move around easily, then we highly recommend hiring a motorbike. Some accommodations have them available for rent.
You can walk along the road, but it's not fun
Resorts sometimes offer short drives to great snorkeling sites, but we haven't heard anything about pickup services to and from restaurants, so try to arrange your own transportation.
Important Addresses and Phone Numbers
There are not many common tourist facilities set up in Amed yet. For instance there are no ATMs or banks in Amed. If you need to get some money, then you will need to make a short drive of half an hour to Amlapura, the main town of the Kerangasem province.
We did see some money changers scattered throughout the villages of which the majority were found in Lipah. As for internet it seems like it is becoming more accessible.
This area, well known for its great diving sites attracts mainly divers.
Not only do they like to discover the marine life in Amed area, but they also take the boat up to Tulamben where dives around the USS liberty ship wreck is the most popular thing to do here.
Amed's crystal calm waters is also perfect to get your PADI. These courses and many others such as freediving are offered by the diving resorts in town. If English isn't a language you are comfortable with, it will be possible to find an instructor who can speak an other language such a German or Japanese too.
Escape to Amed for a quiet holiday in Bali
If you rather stick to snorkeling, then it is very easy to arrange a fishermen to show you the best coral garden just off the coast. Make sure you leave early in the morning to avoid the sizzling heat.
You won't find a tropical white sand beach in this part of the island. Instead Amed's beaches are rocky and/or have volcanic black sand and there are no waves so it is not popular among sunbathers or surfers. So not surprisingly, this part of the island is still one of the quietest. Let's hope it remains that way..
If you want to enjoy the sea without getting wet, then there are wonderful options. Almost everywhere in Amed you can hop on a traditional fishing boat for a sunset tour.
In Batu Belah there's a glass boat tour so you can enjoy the marine life, while Condor sailing (located at Uyah Amed & Spa Resort) offers various types of Bali cruises on their wooden schooner.
Hop on a traditional Jukung fishing boat
For cultural attractions arrange one of the many tours leaving from Amed which mainly show the highlights of this part of the island, such as climbing Gunung Agung, visiting the water palace at Tirta Gangga, known for its natural water pools and hiking or cycling through the countryside.
Tours can be arranged almost at every hotel and other places such as Jukung Diving and Amed Cafe which offer a long list of things to do in Amed.
In this area you are still able to see the traditional way of salt production. Cafe Garam/Hotel Uyah Amed and Spa has created a large area where you can learn about the whole process of salt winning. Along the main street through the villages you can also buy little bundles of original sea salt.
Amed's speciality is sea salt
Looking at the dry landscape and lack of water you can almost expect that this place is not booming here with organic restaurants. So the best to have in the Amed restaurants is fresh fish. That was what we ate almost every day and it was always really good.
Luckily, there are a few Balinese people who have set up little restaurants (called Warung) where they serve grilled fish and local food.
One of the small restaurants in Amed Bali
Other places to go to is Cafe Garam where they serve Indonesian and Balinese dishes such as the Iga Babi Bakar, which is grilled pork spare ribs with Balinese paste. This cafe also has a whole display on the local salt winning production. You can see the whole process when you walk towards the beach.
Another cafe which we recommend for its nice location at the beach is Amed Cafe. It is always nice to have breakfast, lunch or dinner right at the beach front under the shade. They serve Balinese specialties here too. You do need to order these dishes 3 hours in advance, but then you can only expect the best of the best of course.
Amed is still a sleepy part of Bali and you won't find big fancy resorts here. Yet. Hopefully this low key atmosphere will remain for many years to come. But with the recent tourist development going on all over the island, Amed is also becoming more prominent on the tourist map.
If you plan to do some serious diving try to stay at a dive resort where they can offer special packages which include various dives and equipment rental for an attractive price.
We always prefer to stay at eco or smaller hotels, preferably run by locals. So far we haven't found a large selection, but we would like to recommend the following
Anda Amed Resort Bali
This boutique resort is beautiful and well maintained. It has different types of bungalows that can accommodate couples, but also larger families.
From every bungalow and its infinity pool you have a gorgeous view of the ocean. Anda is on a hill, but from here you can walk down to take a dip in the sea.
Bedulu Resort Amed
This little gem in Amed is a family run resort with spotless clean rooms, amazing infinity pool and great prices.
Try to reserve one of the deluxe rooms on top of the hill with private balcony, garden and ocean views from the bedroom.
In the past mighty kingdoms ruled over this part of the island resulting in magnificent sights. Today it is one of the quieter parts of the island making it ideal to rediscover Bali...Read more
Hop on a bike and join a downhill mountain bike tour that will take you along the highlights of Bali: gorgeous mountain views, traditional villages and rice fields..Read more
Amed is one of the places to be if you want to go snorkeling or diving. There are numerous dive operators or local fishermen who would love you to show you the best spots.Read more
Now and then people send us inspiring emails and this generates even more enthusiasm to share all of the things we know about this lovely island in the hope that you can plan your tropical holiday properly and have as such a great time as we always have. Hope to see you there!
When I wrote the mail I never really expected a reply. I might have expected a computer generated but never a personally written one. The information you provided is invaluable, thank you so very much. I have been using your website as a bible through Bali. Through your recommendation, I will be heading to Ubud then follow the sightseeing route to the coast of Candidasa.
WOW...what an awesome website. I could only dream that there would be a website like this for all our travel destinations! You guys have done an fabulous job and now, I am sooo excited about our upcoming trip to Bali. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure Bali was the place for us considering some of the travel warnings (we are Americans). But I can tell from your experiences that the Bali people are so very kind and peaceful.
hi and congratulations on the blog it s brilliant and helpful....we are going to Bali in September with my family (including 2 little girls) so we need to have nice spaceous rooms garden and pool access rooms preferably in Semikyak but not too far from it all...I hope you can recommend a great place thats not full of Australian crowds as we like meeting people from other countries.
Hi, I have been travelling for years and I want to say that this website is the best I have EVER come across. It is easy to navigate, it is really descriptive, gives all the info that you could ever want and is accompanied by the best photos and advice. GREAT.